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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 05 Jul 2012 (Thursday) 10:26
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Still haven't broke into the market....

 
lvph2
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Jul 05, 2012 10:26 |  #1

I'm still trying to break into the market here. Very rural town. And I'm getting the idea that it's more about "who you know" than how good your pictures are. I seem to find a new Facebook photographer all the time and they have many jobs done. Weddings, portraits, etc.

I mean, look at this.... http://www.facebook.co​m …49.118201061595​369&type=1 (external link)

I've given away a few shoots to get my portfolio up, and I have another this weekend. And hopefully some paid stuff finally in August, after starting this in January.



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TooManyShots
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Jul 05, 2012 11:04 |  #2
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Love that glowing dress. It is almost magical. :) Well, the photog is a she and she has more than 700 likes. Which means, she knows or is known by a lot of people. We don't know her pricing. I bet she is either shooting for free or even at cost, judging her works and the quality of the photos. Is not who you know but how many people you know. Do you use a social network media to get in touch with your potential clients???


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lvph2
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Jul 05, 2012 11:08 |  #3

Yes. I have a facebook page that is starting to pick up. Business cards. I've been doing flyers. Anyone I know, or my family knows. I went to school here from 3rd grade until high school. Google adwords as well.

She does charge. And, I was going to place a flyer at a location, but they knew her and didn't want to place mine. I can understand that, but I don't want to be put in the same category as all these people.



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cory1848
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Jul 05, 2012 11:34 |  #4

I love how her main site is a shutterfly account. Do some quality consistent work and you should be able to pass her up pretty quickly.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jul 05, 2012 12:34 |  #5

Is your work sufficiently superior to those pesky Facebook photographers such that people should hire you over all of them ? The fact that your worried about them as competition combined with the fact that you don't have a link in your sig to your own work suggests you're in their class--not that there's something wrong with that. If you're good and your problem really is getting the word out, then yes, your marketing strategy needs work.



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lvph2
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Jul 05, 2012 12:39 |  #6

I'm not really worried about them. It's more about how can I reach people I guess. Unless the customers are happy with this level of quality? I also don't see how not having a link in my sig on this forum puts me in any "class." Also, I just started this site. http://luisvalenciapho​tography.com/ (external link)



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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jul 05, 2012 13:57 |  #7

Not having a link in your sig doesn't put you in a class; but it does, as I said, suggest something--mainly though it leaves us with no ability to properly assess your situation.

You have some good shots on your site, but it's clearly set up for selling yourself as a portrait photographer, not a wedding photographer.

How many weddings have you shot ?



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Fernando
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Jul 05, 2012 14:04 |  #8

For some reason I find your comment on her page tacky. Her work is on display and what gear she uses doesn't matter. It takes two seconds to Google your name and find that the person who asked the question is her competition.


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lvph2
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Jul 05, 2012 14:20 |  #9

I haven't done a wedding. But I do have to start somewhere.



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mike_311
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Jul 05, 2012 14:25 |  #10

offer up free sessions to build your portfolio and to spread your name around. just make sure to make the money back in prints, people may be more willing to go with you if there is little risk in trying you out.

i recently did this, while jacking up my print costs to recoup and i have generated quite a bit of interest and at least one booking since starting it this past Monday.

The booking i made has the potential to open me up to a whole new and interesting market if i do a good job.


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lvph2
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Jul 05, 2012 14:30 |  #11

I've been wanting to do that for sure. I'm finding people ONLY want CD's of images. I can't seem to break them of that! And I don't want my images printed at Wal-Mart!!!!



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mike_311
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Jul 05, 2012 16:48 |  #12

Well then you need to explain to them the benefits of printing through you. Offer them watermarked proofs for them to share on Facebook, but tell the that wall art printing is **** and they are wasting their money.

Heck show them an example.


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SOK
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Jul 05, 2012 16:58 |  #13

speedy_2 wrote in post #14674619 (external link)
I've been wanting to do that for sure. I'm finding people ONLY want CD's of images. I can't seem to break them of that! And I don't want my images printed at Wal-Mart!!!!

I'm not surprised you're finding it tough considering you're trying to force people to buy something nobody wants...

A start-up with no prior wedding experience probably isn't in the best position to be calling all the shots.

If you're as desperate as you sound to 'break into the market' you're probably going to need to meet your clients in the 21st century and realise more and more people simply want digital files. Respond to their needs/wants (at least initially) and slowly move to whatever pricing model suits you down the track.

As an aside, the "I don't want prints of my work getting done at Wal Mart" cry is increasingly curious to me. Once upon a time I subscribed to this line of thought but more recently have been a lot more sceptical.

How many real world examples have YOU seen where someone has been turned off a wedding photographer based on a poor quality print done at Wal Mart? (The photographer doesn't have to be you).


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Steve ­ of ­ Cornubia
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Jul 05, 2012 17:26 as a reply to  @ SOK's post |  #14

You're in danger of falling into the trap of believing the customer is dumb, because they are choosing to use a supplier who - in your opinion - is no good. No business ever became successful with that sort of thinking. Instead, start thinking the customer is always right and will buy what they prefer, for lots of reasons, not just image quality. At the end of the day, if some other Tog is getting business while you're not, then they ARE doing a better job than you.

Start to think in marketing terms, which should always begin by trying to see the world through the eyes of the customer. Once you think you have a handle on what the market needs, you set about trying to invent a product or service to meet that need. Also, remember that markets are not homogenous, with every customer wanting exactly the same thing. Markets are actually groups of mini-markets if you look at them closely. Looked at like this, you will see that the 'wedding photography market' can be 'segmented' (divided up) into discrete markets where the customer wants something slightly different - some want conventional images, others might want 'quirky', some want fancy albums, others just want a CD with a bunch of images on, some want a 'name' and a top-level service, others want a budget package.

Once you understand the market you want to aim at, you need to create a 'competitive advantage' - you make yourself different in some way. This doesn't have to be about shooting style. It could be more about the way you do business or how you treat clients. Creativity isn't just about the images!

Finally, you decide how to promote your business - how you get your message to the market. A website is a given these days, but remember that a website is a 'passive' device. It doesn't go looking for clients; they have to go looking for your website. Hence, there really is no substitute to getting out there and talking to people, at wedding exhibitions, social events, wherever. This WILL be a hard slog. Don't expect to transform your future overnight. It might take two years to really get your name widely known. Basically though, there is no substitute for effort.

So to summarise: the customer is always right, even when they're wrong. You need to accept that and provide them with what they want.


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Still haven't broke into the market....
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